Why Prince Harry and Meghan Can Keep Nigeria Tour Gifts Despite Royal Rules

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Can Keep Nigeria Tour Gifts
KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently visited Nigeria for the first time — and they got to keep several gifts they received during the three-day tour.

Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, stepped down from their roles as senior working royals in 2020 and are therefore not subject to the strict gift-receiving guidelines for members of the royal family.

The official royal policy, which was last updated in 2003, states that members of the royal family should not accept gifts, hospitality or services “which would, or might appear to, place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor.”

The rules also note that “particularly on official overseas trips, organizations and individuals should be discouraged from offering extravagant gifts, i.e. gifts of high monetary value.”

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Harry and Meghan arrived in Nigeria on Friday, May 10. During their time in the African country, the couple were given gifts including jewelry, clothing and books.

During a solo visit to the city of Kaduna on Friday, Harry was gifted two paintings — one of him and Meghan on their wedding day in 2018 and one of him as a child with his late mother, Princess Diana.

The trip provided an opportunity for Harry and Meghan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, which Harry cofounded to honor injured military veterans. While in Nigeria, Harry played a game of sitting volleyball with disabled athletes, all of whom were Nigerian army veterans. The couple also watched Invictus-style sports competitions and promoted mental health awareness.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle jetted off to Nigeria for their first official visit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. Harry, 39, cofounded the Invictus Games to honor injured military veterans. (The duke previously served in the British Army for 10 years.) To celebrate the milestone anniversary of the organization, Harry and […]

Meghan also cohosted a women’s leadership event on Saturday, May 11, and referenced her Nigerian ancestry while speaking to the guests.

“I want to start by saying thank you very much for just how gracious you’ve all been in welcoming my husband and I to this country,” Meghan said, pausing briefly before adding, “My country.”

During an interview with People published on Tuesday, May 14, Meghan said she was excited to learn about her “heritage” and “share with my children” after discovering she is 43 percent African.

“That’s such a special thing as a mother to know you can do,” she said.

Harry, who shares son Archie, 5, and daughter Lilibet, 2, with Meghan, added that he and Meghan love getting to “be on the ground” when they travel together.

“These trips are about us being able to go out and focus on the things that mean so much to us,” he said.

Meghan chimed in, “It’s really meaningful. Just being able to connect to people … that’s what makes it special.”

The trip came days after Harry traveled to London solo to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, May 8. While Harry was at the service, his father, King Charles III, was at a Buckingham Palace garden party with other senior royals just two miles away. The father-son duo did not connect during Harry’s visit to the U.K.

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not The Duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program,” a spokesperson for Harry confirmed to Us Weekly on May 7.

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